guest post by Pablo Darelli

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”  Though this exact phrase was popularized in modern times, its underlying philosophy has existed in some form for millennia.  Regardless of source, this bold declaration—one which is instantly recognized by our better natures and innate desire for fairness—is at the heart at what I hope will be a compelling argument to give and give freely.

As some, if not most, of you may already know, SUM1 has over the past year matured and grown from a mere collection of very good intentions and plans, to a bona fide charity with several contacts and partners in India, an ad filmed in Hindi, a slick website and two dedicated individuals who embarked last November in earnest on a comprehensive hygiene campaign for Saraiya.  This would not have been possible without the hard work of many volunteers and friends that have donated time, effort and funds towards this ambitious project.  That being said, our work is only beginning and great need in countless parts of the world will persist.  The success of future funding efforts will largely determine the ability of this organization to continue and expand the scope of its work.  This brings me back to my exhortation to give.

I understand that there are many individuals that are not in a position to donate financially to charities, and even fewer that can do so substantially.  Shouldn’t the ultra-wealthy, after all, carry the bulk of the burden for fulfilling this moral responsibility?   If they can bequeath millions to their pets — pets whose sole requirement in life is to abstain from defecating on carpets or in shoes — then surely they can be expected to donate more generously than the individual whose survival and success is (ostensibly) predicated on more than the ability to properly judge when and where to have a bowel movement.

Indeed, the declaration concerning an ability/need balance is just as applicable to those living on this continent as it is to those living on any other.  But I would like to make an important point now, just because one does not feel one can give much, or a belief that one’s donation will not have a significant impact, it does not mean that one is powerless to do anything.  By making the effort, by stepping forward with even a few dollars or simply deciding to share our mission with others, you will have transformed yourself from fretting bystander to empowered world citizen.  You will be SUM1.

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